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The Daily Brief: WHO Announces That Covid-19 Should not be Treated like the Flu

The World Health Organization states it is too early to treat Covid-19 and its variants like the flu.

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United States Mission Geneva, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Summary:

  • Despite nearly half of Europe being in line to be infected with the Covid-19 omicron variant the World Health Organization states that it is too soon to treat Covid like an endemic illness such as the flu.
  • World leaders such as Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez proposed tracking Covid similarly to the flu where testing would not be necessary for every individual presenting with symptoms and the virus would be seen as an endemic illness rather than a pandemic.
  • WHO’s senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, disagreed claiming it is too early to establish Covid as an endemic illness as that would require the virus to have stable and predictable transmission.
  • Smallwood stated “We still have a huge amount of uncertainty and a virus that is evolving quite quickly, imposing new challenges. We are certainly not at the point where we are able to call it endemic. It may become endemic in due course, but pinning that down to 2022 is a little bit difficult at this stage.”
  • WHO has also stated that continuous booster shots for the original Covid vaccine is not a viable strategy in preventing infection long-term.
  • Uncertainty and mixed views of Covid have left the public confused, however a clear idea is presented when vaccination is seen to prevent severe hospitalization.
  • One thing remains the same; vaccination, testing, wearing a mask, and isolation when infected can and have limited the spread and severity of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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Advocates Urge Biden to Take Action to Close Guantanamo Bay Prison

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Photo by Petty Officer 1st class Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy (see the story behind the image)This version, obtained from Vanity Fair, is digitally edited, following the photo credit at the source by Ron Sachs/CNP/Corbis, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
  • The prison which has earned a reputation of abuse and injustice outside the rule of law is being called on to be closed.
  • Guantanamo Bay Prison has been continuously criticized for its use of torture, humiliation, and abuse as Mansoor Adayfi, a former inmate of Guntanamo, stated “Guantanamo is one of the biggest human rights violations of the 21st century…And also it is [abusive] to the American justice system, to the American people. Guantanamo hasn’t achieved any justice for anyone – not for the 9/11 victims, not for Americans, not for the detainees.”
  • The prison established in Cuba to prevent detainees from the post-9/11 “war on terror” from enjoying the constitutional rights they would have had on American soil is still a human rights violation exactly 20 years after its establishment.
  • Representative Ilhan Omar from the U.S. Congress has made her opposition to Guantanamo Bay obvious as she calls on President Joe Biden to close down the facility.
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Prominent Law Professor Released From Taliban Custody 

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Fatima541, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • Professor Faizullah Jalal, a longtime law professor at Kabul University, was detained and then released after 4 days by the Taliban this week for making provocative marks against the government. 
  • Since the Taliban took over the Afghan government, Professor Jalal has made numerous television appearances, one of which went viral, criticizing the Taliban and blaming them for the worsening financial crisis in Afghanistan and ruling by force. 
  • Taliban officials stated that Professor Jalal continuously posted comments on social media “trying to instigate people against the system” therefore, he was detained to teach others to not make similar comments in the future.
  • Professor Jalal’s daughter Hasina Jalal, confirmed that her father was released after being detained for 4 days on “baseless charges.”
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Tunisian Press Syndicate States Political Parties Banned From Entering State TV Station

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Houcemmzoughi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • According to the Tunisian Press Syndicate, the Tunisian State TV has banned all political parties from entering into their building for interviews or appearances going forward. 
  • The ban apparently began when President Kais Saied seized power in what many consider a political coup.
  • Tunisian Press Syndicate Head, Mehdi Jlassi, stated, “ Since July 25, there has been a political decision to prevent all parties from entering television … which is a very dangerous and unprecedented matter that seriously threatens freedom of the press and perpetuates individual power.” 
  • The state television channel, al-Wataniya, denies the allegations of a ban and insists that all parties have been covered by the station.  
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Dutch Athletes Warned To Leave All Personal Devices At Home Before Traveling To Winter Olympics 

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J. Brilman, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • To avoid Chinese espionage, Dutch athletes have been advised to leave all personal devices, including personal phones and laptops, in the Netherlands while they travel to China to compete in next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.
  • After consulting with the Dutch Intelligence and Security agency, Dutch Olympic Committee (NOCNSF) has warned athletes that the threat of cybersecurity has increased since China has completely closed off its internet. 
  • All 30 athletes and their support staff will be equipped with devices that have never been used to ensure their data is protected from Chinese surveillance. 
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New World Bank Report Says Inequality Is Rising While Global Growth Is Slowing Down

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Victorgrigas, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
  • With COVID still spreading, and inflation and government debt at an all-time high, a new report from the World Bank shows economic growth decreasing across the globe from 5.5 in 2021 to an expected 4.1 in 2022. 
  • The report shows that developed countries are lacking the spending power to kickstart economic growth after being hit hard by COVID, while undeveloped countries have no way of keeping up with rising inflation prices leaving them the last ones in the global supply chain. 
  • With many developed countries buying out scarce goods, and with the threat of climate change causing severe weather, food scarcity in many undeveloped countries is affecting health and nutrition thus causing a widening inequality. 
  • The World Bank calls for vaccine equality to ensure the pandemic is controlled and that countries should accelerate debt relief efforts to help low-income countries that are currently under economic stress. 
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All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Born and raised in the Bay Area, California, Faiza is a mother of two with a degree in Psychology and Paralegal Studies. She is passionate about lending her voice to those who are disadvantaged.

Daily Brief

China Threatens Consequences if Pelosi Visits Taiwan

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  • US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed inTaiwan. Prior to the visit, China’s Foreign Ministry has voiced their disapproval, stating that “China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized in response  that “The speaker will make her own decisions about whether or not to visit Taiwan,” and that the US is looking to Beijing to “act responsibly and not to engage in any escalation going forward.”
  • The US has made it clear that members of Congress routinely visit Taiwan and that this trip is non-threatening and has precedent. Even so, some officials have expressed concern that China may invade Taiwan’s air defense zone or send missiles near Taiwan in retaliation.
  • Pelosi has criticized China’s leadership and vocalized support for Taiwan in the past. She is currently on her tour of Asia, with scheduled visits to Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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First Grain Ship Departs Ukraine After Six Months of Russian Blockade

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  • The first shipment of grain departed the port of Odesa on Monday after Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports for the last six months trapped around 20 million metric tons of wheat and corn.
  • Russia recently made a deal with Ukraine, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowing grain exports to resume, appeasing fears of a global food supply crisis and rising prices.
  • Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba celebrated the shipment, calling it a “day of relief for the world, especially for our friends in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.”
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was more hesitant to celebrate the shipment, stating “it is too early to draw any conclusions and make any forecasts” and he wants to “see how the agreement works and whether security will be really guaranteed.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Concerns Rise As US Teeters on the Brink of Recession

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  • The US economy declines for the second quarter in a row, causing, what other countries would consider, an economic recession. 
  • The prices for groceries, gas, and other basics are rising at the fastest pace since 1981. The US Central Bank is quickly trying to raise borrowing costs in order to cool the economy and ease the prices on goods, but with the contraction, at the annual rate of 0.9% in the 3 months to July, many are still getting concerned. 
  • President Biden struggles to convince the public that the economy is sound, with the unemployment rate at a low 3.6%. But with inflation in the US hitting 9.1% in June, the fastest price appreciation in 4 months, consumer spending has slowed at an annual rate of 1%. 
  • Many other countries, such as China and the UK, have been hit harder by the surge in energy prices and the War in Ukraine, causing risks from abroad. Other countries are facing much more serious problems and once they’re hit, their problems can spill over and affect the US. 

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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North Korea Could Possibly Be Preparing another Nuclear Test

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  • North Korea could be preparing a seventh nuclear test, especially after Mr. Kim announced that the country is fully ready for any military confrontation with the US at a Korean War Anniversary event. 
  • A US special representative in North Korea states that Jong-Un has tested an unprecedented number of missiles this year—31 to 25. Jong-Un also stated that threats from the US required North Korea to achieve the urgent historical task of strengthening its self-defense. 
  • Jong-un also stated that South Korea is reviving a plan to counter North Korea’s threat by mounting precautionary strikes; in June alone, South Korea launched 8 missiles of its own.
  • The North Korean regime is especially angry with South Korea’s new president Yoon Suk-yeol and his so-called Kill Chain strategy. This strategy allows South Korea to launch ballistic missiles and air strikes on North Korean targets if it ever feels threatened. 
  • North Korea has also not been getting as much engagement with Washington ever since Biden replaced Trump, and could be hinting at some sort of deliberate escalation by the North, and preparations have been underway at the Punggye Ri test site since March.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Russia Limits Gas Supply to Germany

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  • Gazprom, a major Russian energy provider, has stated it will reduce the supply of gas to Germany by half via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline due to repair work. 
  • Germany has said that they see no technical reason for the decrease in gas supply. The European Union continues to accuse Russia of weaponizing energy, with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stating, “This is an open gas war that Russia is waging against a united Europe.”
  • Ukraine and Russia signed an agreement to allow the export of grain via the Black Sea after Russia continued to block millions of tonnes from being exported. The next day, Russia struck missiles at the port, some of which hit the infrastructure of the port.
  • The US and Ukraine are optimistic that the agreement will still be implemented, with the US State Department stating, “Despite these attacks, we do understand that the parties are continuing preparations to open Ukraine’s Black Sea ports for food and fertilizer exports…we also continue to expect that the Black Sea agreement will be implemented.”

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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Pope Francis Apologizes for Indigenous Abuse in Canadian Residential Schools

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  • Pope Francis traveled to the grounds of a former residential school near Alberta, Canada and formally apologized for the Church’s role in the abuse of indigenous people and erasure of indigenous culture.
  • The majority of the schools were run by members of the Roman Catholic Church in the late 1800s and 1900s. Around 150,000 indigenous children were sent to the schools and more than 3,000 are estimated to have died.
  • In his speech, the Pope asked for forgiveness and highlighted the Church’s role in the schools system, stating, “I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities cooperated… in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools.”
  • Indigenous chiefs, survivors of the residential schools, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau were some of the few in attendance for the Pope’s remarks.

All views expressed in this editorial are solely that of the author, and are not expressed on behalf of The Analyst, its affiliates, or staff.

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